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as a powerful intelligence tool. then with washington mired in political gridlock we take a closer look at the last great senate. but first, the nonpartisan stimson center recently released a report, a new u.s. defense strategy for a new era that outlines four approaches for cutting defense spending but maintaining capability. stimson's co-founder barry blechman spearheaded the study. the report has become a must- read for anyone involved in the coming defense review or budget planning team. barry, welcome to the team. >> thank you, vag go. >> congratulations for your slot on the defense news top 100 most influential people. >> that was the biggest thrill of the year. >> so let's start off with the report. each report begins with assumptions about threats to the united states to be facing and what's going to be needed to meet them what. are those threats and what's the right strategy to address those threats as cost efficiently as possible? >> the group was more optimistic than many people in looking at the world. they see russia as a country that doesn't pose any threats now and really
and specified commands. they have indeed greatly increased staffs and they even have elements in washington that begin to act like lobbies. when a new problem arises, a joint task force is put together. and that makes sense. and the elements may come from more than one of the unified and specified commands. so i think another look is needed at not at the question of jointness, but at how it's carried out. and how the overhead is distributed. >> you worked in the pentagon during the vietnam war and there are those and you even mentioned certain parallels between the vietnam conflict and what we're seeing in afghanistan. right now there's a big debate going on in washington whether or not troop levels should remain high to ensure that we can train the afghans fast enough to hand over control before we leave at the end of 2014. why is that a bad idea from your standpoint? >> the real question is what kind of country is going to -- will it be possible to leave behind? and the case of vietnam, my own conclusion back in period of 1967, '68, became that the government there was unsustainable becau
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